Yes, meetings take up a lot of our time these days!
But what if we managed important meetings better, with only the people who really need to be there attending and everyone finishing the meeting with a good sense of what they need to get on with?
In this blog we’ve pulled together 10 tips for great meetings, taken mostly from project management principles.
At first this might seem a lot of work. You’ll soon notice just how much time you save when everyone is in the right place at the right time, and clear on what’s expected of them.
- Think ahead
Ask yourself these questions: What do I need to get from people at the meeting? Who needs to be there?
Avoid inviting people for the sake of it.
What will we discuss? What outcomes do I want? Make a short list of bullet points.
Send an invite and attach details of how you will connect: Zoom? Teams? Tell attendees that the details are in the invite. Attach your brief agenda so that people know what to expect and can prepare.
Have all the people who really need to be there received and responded to your invite? If key people cannot make it, you may need to find a time when they can, or to ask them to send a contribution in their absence.
People do forget meetings. If their contribution is vital and there are dependencies involved, you might benefit from sending them a quick message.
Respect people’s time in the meeting. If you risk running over, bump non-essential items off the list or ask for more time. Ask: What’s your time boundary? Can we extend this meeting by 10 minutes?
- Take key notes
Who has committed to doing what, by when? Notes can be very brief and in action form, with deadlines if possible.
Thank everyone for attending. Time is precious. People will love your meetings if they are short and efficient.
Send out brief notes after the meeting. They are good reminders of what we need to get through and form a great base for keeping track.
- Celebrate the time you’ve saved by putting some meetings structure in place!